Tagged “Parent And Family Engagement”

Working Together to Close Achievement Gap

Abington School District, Pa.

The Abington School District in Pennsylvania is one that truly understands the importance of closing the achievement gap with minority, low-income, and special education students through significant parent involvement and unique initiatives and practices.

The Abington Community Taskforce has helped create programs like the Abington Community Celebration, which raised more than $100,000 to fund youth-oriented activities and has helped the district excel in academic programs. All elementary schools have exceeded their adequate yearly progress goals, and over 90 percent of Abington's graduating classes pursue higher education, earning over $5 million in scholarships.

Abington School District is a four-time recipient of whole child partner America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People recognition.

Family-Oriented Community Excels in Helping Youth Learn, Serve, and Grow

Butler County, Mo.

Family-oriented Butler County, Mo., has been putting forth an inspiring amount of effort into providing a multitude of opportunities for youth. "Learning, serving, and growing" characterizes the focus of this two-time winner of the whole child partner America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People recognition.

Between community theater productions, spelling bees, and civic athletics, youth are involved in educational opportunities across a spectrum of subjects. A driving force in Butler County is the Community Resource Council, where more than 300 individuals and 100 local agencies participate in community action committees that promote healthy children and families.

Youth are even involved in developing local policies—almost every youth-serving program asks for youth participants to assess the community's role in meeting their needs and the programmatic effects through an annual survey.

Inspiring Practices Serve As Models For Other Communities

Meridian, Idaho

Committed to sustaining a safe and caring community that enables youth to feel a sense of connection and acceptance, the unique city of Meridian, Idaho, is a wonderful place to be. This three-time winner of whole child partner America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People recognition caters to its youth through various programs, including Merdian's Promise, the Mayor's Youth Advisory Commission, and the Youth Scholarship Program.

A specific example of success among these initiatives is the Mayor's Anti-Drug Coalition. Comprising parents, teens, and other community members, the group uses innovative methods to encourage the community to rally as one in the hopes of overcoming drug use. Meridian's practices serve as mechanisms in bringing the community together through youth empowerment, and it's clear that it will continue to be a model to other Idaho communities looking to shine.

Well-Rounded Community Has Multitude of Resources for Youth

Irvine, Calif.

Focused on maintaining a well-rounded community that flourishes with academic and service resources for youth, it's no wonder that Irvine, Calif., is a three-time winner of whole child partner America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People recognition.

Irvine truly exemplifies the importance in building a community that values child development, and their community programs include the community-developed Strategic Plan for Children, Youth and Families that addresses emotional, physical, academic, and social needs of youth; the Irvine Child Care Committee that works with School Readiness Programs to ensure that all of Irvine's youth have access to quality educational programs; and the Irvine Children's Health Program that reaches out to families in need of affordable health care for their children.

Addressing Youth Needs Through Strong Coalitions and Partnerships

Sylacauga, Ala.

Three-time winner of whole child partner America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People recognition, Sylacauga, Ala., has made its mark on addressing youth needs and collaboration. Through the community's coalitions and partnerships, award-winning programs like SAFE Family Services Center, the BRIDGES after-school program, and HIPPY (Home Instruction Program for Parents of Preschool Youngsters) have helped promote community cohesion.

The SAFE coalition provides meaningful opportunities for families to contribute to the growth of Sylacauga and develop the initiative to serve others. Graduation rates are increasing because of BRIDGES and HIPPY, programs that both provide youth development activities to students across diverse age-groups.

Whether through the analysis of needs assessment data or the selection of coalition-led/evidence-based prevention and intervention programs, it's clear that Sylacauga has an innate desire to better its community.

In It Together: Parents, Students, and Teachers Engaged in Improving Learning

Monroe Elementary School, West Valley City, Utah

Students at Monroe Elementary School in West Valley City, Utah, are just as involved in monitoring their academic progress as their teachers and parents. Monroe Elementary successfully relies on data to improve teachers' effectiveness in teaching and supporting the individual needs of each child.

Student Education Plan conferences bring together students, teachers, and parents to review student data, and they have been invaluable in allowing students to set education goals to work on throughout the year. The school also provides a Family Literacy Program to Spanish-speaking parents, who attend English classes and learn side by side with their children.

Canadian High School Encourages Parents and Students to be Proactive in School Community

Iroquois Ridge High School, Oakville, Ontario, Canada

Iroquois Ridge High School in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, has focused on increasing the involvement of the school community and establishing a parental engagement program that matches parents' skills with the school's needs. Its transition program helps 9th graders connect to the school community by developing a sense of belonging.

Additionally, on-site community professionals provide access to services for youth and parents. The Tuesday at Ten and Tuesday at Seven programs connect parents with one another and with the school to support learning about healthy lifestyle choices. Students have been heavily involved in advocating for and opening a local youth health clinic, the first-ever in Oakville. Iroquois Ridge is a Healthy School Communities site.



Culturally Responsive Approach to Learning Is Cherished

Ganado Intermediate School, Ganado, Ariz.

Many students on the Navajo reservation in Ganado, Ariz., face challenges that can negatively affect their education at Ganado Intermediate School. One of the aims of the school is to engage families as partners in learning. Ganado maintains an open school policy throughout the day, offering a parent resource center that sponsors quarterly workshops, distributes resources and materials, and provides access to a library and computer center.

Ganado also demonstrates its culturally responsive approach to student learning by considering the cultural strengths that can help kids learn best. The school recognizes how it can align a whole child approach to education with the Navajo education philosophy to further its mission.

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Fast, Free, Online: The ASCD School Improvement Tool

Designed for use in schools and districts, the free ASCD School Improvement Tool offers educators a comprehensive and completely online needs assessment.